Are We There Yet? Picture Books and Activity Books to Help Kids Pass the Miles

BookendsLynn and Cindy: Oh those annoying words, “Are we there yet?”—often uttered shortly after departure! With spring break in process for many of us and summer trips looming on the horizon, avoiding small-passenger distress is paramount. Bookends is here to help with suggestions of some new, highly entertaining, and time-consuming books to help while away the miles. It may sound counterintuitive, but you might want to begin by packing two picture books titled with those fatal words.

Are We There Yet? by Nina Laden

A simple refrain of “Are we there yet?” and “No” repeats throughout the book as the extraordinary journey to Grandma’s house unfolds. Lots of visual humor and recurring elements to search for add a special touch and will give young passengers plenty to look at in between asking, yet again, “Are we there yet?”

Are We There Yet by Dan SantatAre We There Yet? by Dan Santat

Santat’s take on the theme offers a big, bold, and wildly energetic vision of a trip to Grandma’s birthday party. This ride, too, becomes extraordinary when the little boy’s brain gets too bored and time slows down until it begins to go backward through history, all the way to the Jurassic Period! Readers are required to twist and turn the book upside down to read it and the funny, detail-packed pages provide time-absorbing fun.

Bad Kitty Makes Comics and You Can Too! by Nick Bruel

Cartoonist Bruel of Bad Kitty fame shares his tips for creating your own comics with a little help from his own cartoon characters. There are blank panels to fill in and pages to practice on, but you’ll want to pack some extra paper and drawing tools so the kids can keep on creating, even after they’ve finished the book.

Junior Ranger Activity BookJunior Ranger Activity Book: Puzzles, Games, Facts, and Tons More Fun Inspired by the National Parks

If your back-seat passengers love nature, science, and the great outdoors, this activity book is perfect designed to please AND inform. Includes a terrific index to the locations of the national parks.

Just Joking Cats, by Kelley Miller

Another entry in the popular National Geographic Just Joking series, this one featuring feline funnies will keep the laughs (or groans) coming. “Have you seen a catfish? No, but it must be hard to hold the rod in its paws!” HAHAHAHAAHA.

Mastermind: Over 100 Games, Tests, and Puzzles to Unleash Your Inner Genius, by Stephanie Warren Drimmer

Big, bright, and packed with an enticing variety of puzzles, mazes, word searches, and fascinating information, this book is guaranteed to keep kids busy for miles and miles!





About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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